Common Cause Georgia Condemns House Approval of Ambiguous HB 881 that Chills the Work of Georgia Prosecutors

ATLANTA – Today, House Bill (HB) 881, a bill that outlines the details of a prosecutorial oversight commission on the 2023 Senate Bill (SB) 92 that set up an unelected commission with the power to override active investigations, was heard on the house floor for a final vote. The bill removes provisions related to the Supreme Court of GA’s approval of the Commission’s rules; the definition of mental or physical incapacity, and the provisions around appealing the decision of the Commission’s hearing panel to the court. 

Prior to arriving on the house floor, HB 881 was heard by the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee last Tuesday.  

In responses to the bill’s hearing, Aunna Dennis, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia issued the following statement:

“This bill’s language is vague and has no clear roadmap of checks and balances within its purpose and is politically-motivated.

“It takes away the requirement for the Court to approve the commission’s rules. Why don’t they want the Supreme Court overseeing the commission’s standards of conduct and rules? What exactly are they planning to propose that they think the Court would refuse to approve?

“Prosecutors who defend our state constitution should be able to do so safely. How are prosecutors able to defend themselves from challenging corruption in our government without the proper protections? There are already professional standards connected to this bill. What are the diversity and inclusion standards and equal protection claims available to prosecutors?

“Georgia’s DOJ has already spoken against this ambiguous bill and the chilling effect it will have for Georgia prosecutors. The voters of Georgia do not align with this bill and its lack of protections.

“The Legislature should be working to amend HB 881 to address these issues and ambiguities in the original SB 92 law, not exacerbate them.”